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Citizens’ Academy Transportation Night

2 Nov

Mode Shift is one of the founding organizations of the Citizens’ Academy for Omaha’s Future, a joint project presented by community partners designed to provide the “knowledge, skills, and connections that graduates can leverage to advocate for their vision of the community.” Recently, the current class participated in the “Transportation Night” of the academy. Normally the academy presentations are a classroom-type setting where the presenters . . . erm, present. They stand in front of the class. They show a slide deck. They ask if there are any questions. Riveting stuff, to be sure, but for this class, Mode Shift took our curriculum in a more experiential direction.

Mode one: by foot

To start class, the group walked from UNO through a homeowner neighborhood over a participant’s project from the first class which converted an abandoned street into a cut-through walking path. Continue reading

Pilot Transit Tour was a success!

13 Oct

Last weekend, we piloted our Transit Tourism program that organizes fun outings for people looking to learn more about Omaha’s transit system — where it goes and how to use it. We hosted a group of ten participants ranging from small children to retirees. Our first route took the group from Crossroads Mall to the Old Market.

The day started cold and rainy, but concluded with a pleasant, sunny fall afternoon. We started the day touring the Czech/Slovak Museum housed in the former Chili’s at Crossroads Mall. In addition to the exhibits of Czech crystalware and accordions, the museum had a large, illustrated history of the Czech people set up in the common area of the Mall.

Our first leg of the transit journey began with the walk from the museum to the bus stop. This walk highlighted a number of challenges that transit users encounter. First: how to get from the museum to the sidewalk. There are no obvious or marked pathways for a pedestrian to leave Crossroads. There is a sidewalk that connects to 72nd Street on the east end, but to the south, west and north, there isn’t a clear pathway for pedestrians. Fortunately, Curtis, our guide for the day, knew about a narrow pedestrian ramp that connected the parking lot to the sidewalk on the south side of the mall property. Continue reading

Update on the BRT Progress

21 Apr

We haven’t talked much about the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as of late, so we thought it might be time for a quick update. We’re still heavily involved in the BRT Stakeholder Committee with two members from Mode Shift serving on the committee (including the chair of the committee), which gives us an opportunity to stay abreast of the project’s status.

Metro held two open houses nearly a year ago (June 2016) during which attendees were able to ask questions, offer input, and tour a 60’ articulated bus (the type Metro will use for the BRT). Attendance was great, excitement was high, and Metro received some great feedback. If you missed the meeting, here are the materials that were presented.

One of the great outcomes of that process was the establishment of the values of the BRT system. They are:

  1. Reliable
  2. Convenient
  3. Rapid
  4. User-friendly

Continue reading